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Williams-Sonoma Inc WSM
Q1 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 05/22/2012

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. First Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. We will conduct a question-and-answer session after the presentation. This conference is being recorded.

I'd now like to turn this call over to Steve Nelson, Vice President of Investor Relations, to discuss non-GAAP measures and forward-looking statements.

Stephen C. Nelson - VP, IR: Good morning. This morning's conference call should be considered in conjunction with the press release that we issued earlier today. Our press release in this call contains non-GAAP financial measures that exclude the impact of unusual business events. These non-GAAP financial measures are provided to facilitate meaningful year-over-year comparisons. A reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures and an explanation of why these non-GAAP financial measures are useful are discussed in Exhibit 1 and elsewhere in the earnings release.

The forward-looking statements included in this morning's call constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements address the financial condition, results of operations, business initiatives, trends, guidance, growth plans and prospects of the Company in 2012 and beyond, and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements. Please refer to the Company's current press releases and SEC filings, including our most recent Form 10-K for more information on these risks and uncertainties. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this call.

I will now turn the conference over to Laura Alber, our President and Chief Executive Officer, to discuss our first quarter 2012 results and our outlook for fiscal year 2012.

Laura J. Alber - President and CEO: Good morning, and thank you for joining us. With me today are Pat Connolly, our Chief Marketing Officer; and Julie Whalen, our acting Chief Financial Officer.

Today we want to share with you our first quarter 2012 results and our outlook for the second quarter and fiscal year. In the first quarter we delivered non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.34, our best first quarter earnings ever. This is a 13% increase over a year ago on revenue growth of 6%.

Pottery Barn and West Elm performed exceptionally well during the quarter and drove our overall profit increase. These results demonstrate three fundamentals in differentiating strengths of our Company; our portfolio of brands, the flexibility of our multichannel strategy, and our commitment to strong financial discipline. We know that each of our businesses will not always trend in the same direction in every quarter as is the case in this first quarter. Pottery Barn and West Elm exhibited excellent growth during the quarter and drove our overall increase; Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn Kids and Pottery Barn Teen, however experienced negative comparable brand revenue growth.

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